What Does It All Mean? Perkins Loan Promissory Note

Student studyingThe U.S. Department of Education anticipated 493,244 Perkins Loans being disbursed to in-need students in 2011; it was expected the median award amount would be around $1,968. To be eligible for a Perkins Loan, the applicant must take certain steps in applying to ensure they meet the general federal student aid eligibility requirements, as follows, in addition to meeting financial need-based criteria.

Perkins Loans 101

Recipients of the Perkins Loan get 10 years to repay their loan of $5,500 per year, or $27,500 per lifetime for undergrads, and $8,000 per year, or $60,000 lifetime for graduates at a 5 percent fixed rate that won’t waver within that decade. Once approved for a Perkins Loan, you’ll want to take time during your nine-month grace period to look over the entrance documents you’ve been provided with. Use caution because you’ll be required to sign a promissory note in order to accept the funds being given to you.

Any time you sign a promissory note, you’ll be required to supply the names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers of three separate references with whom you must note your relation to. You will also be required to enter your full name, date of birth, mailing address, home phone number, Social Security number, and driver’s license number. There will be a place on the form where you input your school and its address, too.

Your borrower status, the amount you’re borrowing, and the loan period are all outlined, as well as terms and conditions surrounding defaulted payments, forbearance, and more. All of this information helps to ensure you are who you say you are and you understand what you’re signing, so that someone else cannot easily accept responsibility for the loan on your behalf.

Your John Hancock

More than 98 percent of FAFSA applicants complete their applications entirely online, per US News. You can choose to complete your Perkins Loan signature online, too, or you can opt to mail it in. To login and sign the Federal Perkins Loan Promissory Note electronically, you must input the PIN you created when you initially registered your FAFSA account along with your Social Security Number.

Accepting the terms of a Perkins Loan is serious business and not to be entered into lightly. Thus, if you prefer the postal route, you will have to print all pages of the entrance documentation you’ve been supplied with, clearly sign it in blue or black ink, and mail it to your regional Office of Financial Aid. After you’ve signed the required documents, make a copy for your personal records.

What Does My Signature Mean?

When you sign a Master Promissory Note, it generally means your single signature will serve as acceptance for all future Perkins Loans you might receive, in an effort to avoid having to do the same paperwork all over again. For subsequent Perkins Loans, some schools will only require you to review the disclosures for them. When you sign the note, you’re accepting responsibility for repaying the loan funds in accordance with the terms outlined in the documents provided. After signing, you will be required to complete entrance counseling prior to receiving any funding.

There is concern of repayment in the student loan community. In fact, 13.7 percent of students who started repaying in 2011 are now in default, per Forbes Magazine. Seeking the guidance of your college’s financial aid counselor is always advisable, but we can assist you in preparing for your financial future now so that you’re not part of that percentage later.

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